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Things to Do in Denver (and Boulder) When You’re Dead Adventurous

Eat, drink, go hiking and visit some haunted houses while exploring Colorado’s creativity

Things to Do in Denver (and Boulder) When You’re Dead Adventurous

Colorado might inspire images of the snow-tipped Rocky Mountains and cosy log cabins - but while the state is a great place to embrace the great outdoors, it’s also home to some great nights out. The burgeoning art crowd and proliferating startup set in Denver and Boulder have nurtured an amazing foodie and craft beer scene. Well, you have to fuel those mountain hikes somehow, right? And then there’s the markets, the museums, the festivals… yes there’s plenty of things to get you out of bed when you’re in Denver and Boulder. 


Food


Cheap
In Boulder, Cured is great for a good sandwich. Breakfast burritos at Blackberry are wonderful, meat, egg, cheese, green chile, and tater tots.

In Denver the Chicken Rebel food truck at Finn’s Manor is the best fried chicken sandwich I have ever had, they sous vide the chicken before tempura frying it. Hop Alley traditional/regional Chinese cuisine hopalleydenver.com/ served family-style with a modern twist. Work & Class homestyle Southern & Latin American cuisine served in a tapas style, great fried chicken on Sunday’s. Rebel Restaurant eclectic menu featuring items and meats that aren’t on every restaurant’s menu."
Brian Fouhy, Associate Creative Director, CP+B Boulder

"Our go-to cheap spot at the agency is The Candlelight Tavern. It’s a dive that serves dirt-cheap burgers and wings. They also serve a lot of beer, which sometimes tanks productivity on Friday afternoons. Aside from that, check out: Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, Tacos y Salsas, El Taco De Mexico, Masterpiece Deli, Maria Empenada, Rosenburg’s Bagels." 
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD


 
Expensive
Cooper Lounge is one of the best places to go on a date or take out of towners. They have a killer martini and it's located inside of our gorgeous, renovated Union Station. El Five has insane unobstructed views of the city. Great cocktails and innovative food. Izakaya Den is also on heavy rotation in my life.” 
Brooke Woodruff, Production Director, Cactus

“Acorn, El Five, Beast + Bottle, Frasca Food and Winer (Boulder), Fruition, Rioja, Sushi Ronin Last, but not least, make sure to try Green Chili somewhere in Denver. It’s a staple here and definitely worth your time. You can get a breakfast burrito smothered in it, or just eat it like soup with a fresh flour tortilla.”
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD

"Dubbed the 'ramen mafia' Uncle's team of chefs and bartenders dish out East Asian inspired ramen, bao buns and cocktails nightly in their stripped down highlands space (which always features a wait list).”
Mike Lee, Strategic Director, Cactus

Drink

Beer
“Anchored by industry pioneers like New Belgium and Odell Brewing, Colorado is home to hundreds of incredible craft brewers. There is no better way to end a day of adventure than sitting outside your favorite brewery next to a fire pit, watching the sun dip behind the mountains and enjoying some of the best beer on the planet.” 
Mike Lee, Strategic Directors, Cactus

“The award for best 'off-the-beaten-path' bar goes to Fort Greene, a beautiful bar located in Globeville, just north of Denver's expanding arts district. In the 1930s the space was a meeting hall for Slovenian residents of this migrant neighbourhood, and now brings in people from all over the city for things like "All Yer Boos," a tribute to all things 2000's hip-hop, or "Planthaus," their ongoing plant and coffee pop-up shop.
 
Trve is a heavy metal brewery. Nuff said. Trve's narrow dark walls fill up nightly with patrons looking to fill their ears with heavy metal and their bellies with delicious beer. As an early established player in Denver's sour brewery scene, Trve's tap list offers everything from a classics like 'CURSED' a mixed-culture pale, to 'BURNING OFF IMPURITIES' a mixed culture sour ale brewed with coffee.  
Andrew Baker, Creative Technology Director, Cactus

Cocktails
Williams & Graham is my go-to spot for out-of-towners. Owner Sean Kenyon created a brilliantly thought-out speakeasy in the LoHi neighbourhood. It’s decorated with national and international acclaim, and for good reason. The cocktails and atmosphere combine for an otherworldly experience.

No trip to Denver is complete without a visit to RiNo. It’s undoubtedly the hottest neighbourhood in the city, and while there are tons of great options, Bar Fausto is my fave. It’s very unassuming for the level of cocktails it serves. Don’t expect a pretentious staff, but do expect the type of cocktails that would go along with said staff.

Forest Room 5 is a standard in Denver nightlife. This bizarre, wonderful, quirky, hipster-fuelled gem is a must-see in Denver. Complete with a running stream and old movies playing on the side of neighbouring lofts, it’s as Colorado as any bar can get. 

If you’ve ever watched a Broncos game, you know it can get damn cold in the Mile High City. If I’m ever looking for a quick, tropical escape, I head to Adrift. The décor is meticulously put together and the cocktails are worthy of the best Hawaiian sunsets.”
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD


Do


Markets
“Over the past few years, Denver has benefited from the development of "open air markets" such as the Denver Central Market, denvercentralmarket.com/ The Source www.thesourcedenver.com/, and most recently The Stanley in Stapleton stanleymarketplace.com/. All of these spaces offer Denverites a one stop shop for crafty cocktails, award winning local fare, and a fresh space to hang out.”
Diane Berry, Media Director, Cactus 

Denver Flea is not your normal flea market. This is a monthly gathering of Denver’s coolest small businesses. From craft beer, craft booze, clothes, pickles and everything in between, it’s a great representation of the city’s creators.
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD

Art
“It has been fun to watch our art community grow, specifically in the RiNo area where, just recently, the annual Crush Street art festival event took place. Overall, we have a growing artisan community whether it is in the world of art, food, cocktails, design or marketing and it's exciting to participate in that growth, there is always something new to be checking out.” 
Diane Berry, Media Director, Cactus
 
Black Cube Nomadic is a unique art initiative that as the name suggests has no permanent space, creating exhibits in a variety of different and unique locations. One of the more recent exhibits was called Drive-In which was a one night pop up in an abandon lot and the artists used their personal cars as their canvas with the work ranging in variety from sculptures to performance based pieces. 

In Denver, The Museum of Contemporary Art great community events and artist talks, great at bringing a range of work to the walls, from local Denver and Colorado artists to more nationally recognized and major names like Ryan McGinley, Basquiat, and Jenny Morgan.

Red Line Gallery great residency program and community events, while also bringing an international vibe rot Denver with their exhibits. 

Dikeou Collection hidden gem of Denver, amazing collection of contemporary art tucked away on the 5th floor of a non-descript office building above the 16th Street Mall in Denver.”
Brian Fouhy, Associate Creative Director, CP+B Boulder



Music 
“Hit Larimer Lounge or Lost Lake for up-and-coming indie rock/alternative acts. Hit Bluebird or Gothic for mid-range/larger acts. And hit Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox www.opheliasdenver.com/ for the most unique spot to catch a show. 

Catch a show at Red Rocks. Rolling Stone magazine cited it as the best outdoor venue in America and we absolutely agree. It’s magical.”
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD

“Globe Hall Globe Hall great dive bar with music venue attached featuring up and coming national acts with legit Texas style BBQ. And the green room is an old airstream trailer out back.”
Brian Fouhy, Associate Creative Director, CP+B Boulder

Sport
“There is no question that Colorado is one of the top places for outdoor pursuits from hiking, biking and running to climbing, kayaking and skiing. The list goes on and on.”
Mike Lee, Strategic Director, Cactus


“Catch a Rockies game. Even if you’re not a fan, the beer is abundant, and the views of the sun setting over the Rocky Mountains are breath-taking.”
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD

Visit
“We have one of the world’s greatest outdoor playgrounds looming over us just a few minutes west of town. No matter what you’re into, it’s nearly impossible to be bored around here.

Rocky Mountain National Park, mind bogglingly beautiful and great hikes.” 
Brian Watson, VP, Creative Director, Cactus 

“Hit Water World. Yes, a theme park. We’re not huge on them, but Water World is the biggest in the nation according to a sign as you walk in. I’m not going to challenge them. Just go and catch some (artificial) waves. 
Or  take a haunted history walking tour through Denver. It will take you into Cheeseman Park, which is built on top of a graveyard. It also happens to be two blocks from our office. Spooky.” 
And then there are Cannabis Tours, if you’re into that kinda thing. Which, based on our tourism numbers over the past few years, you are.”
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD

Festivals
Truck Stop is a Food Truck and music gathering in historic Five Points district. The inaugural truck stop festival a few weeks ago featured 40 food trucks and a live performance from Lee Fields and the Expressions, one of America's last standing soul groups, whose first release came in 1969.

By bringing together two speakers on completely unrelated subjects, MCA's Mixed taste creates an atmosphere of light-hearted education, creative mingling, and humour. After ten strong years of running it solo, the MCA has this year partnered with 'Off-Center,' a theatre production at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Past subjects have been 'Prohibition and Bob Ross,' and 'Traffic Control and Drag Queen Activism.'
 
Collaboration Fest is the world's largest celebration of craft brewery collaborations offers 300+ on-of-a-kind collaboration beers that are conceived and brewed by one Colorado brewery and a partner (or 5) of their choosing. Past collaborations have included breweries all the way from Germany to the Russian River Valley of California.
 
A long-standing event, the Underground Music Showcase takes over South Broadway for one hot and rowdy weekend every summer. Attracting both local and national acts, the UMS has gained its notoriety by introducing acts like Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats to crows of backyard partiers (before they got big, of course).” 
Andrew Baker, Creative Technology Director, Cactus

“Check out First Friday Art Walks – we have a few different locations. Tennyson is a bit more family friendly and Santa Fe is a rowdy party. You can’t go wrong either way.

Catch a food festival. Denver Burger Battle and Top Taco are both worth it. Then there’s the Great American Beer Festival! Whether you’re a fan of the finest sour or you drink the occasional Coors Light at the ballpark, this event is one for the books. Imagine the excitement of little children on Christmas morning, only it’s adults walking through samples of unlimited beers.”
Clayton Warwick, Account Manager, LRXD